Former MC from TX Speaks Again

J told me Nathan could sense when she had sinned.  When I asked how that was possible, she could not give an answer.  She said, “He just sees it in my face.”

Nathan rarely needed to sense anything.  We were all desperate to please him, to please God.

We confessed our darkest sins and our imagined ones.

It was never enough.

By the time our group visited a small church in Corsicana, I felt alone and desperate.   I was trying to rectify Nathan’s teachings and actions with what I had been taught my whole life.  I could not pinpoint why I felt so guilty, so sinful when I tried so hard.

I remember walking around the Corsicana church in a haze.  I was smiling and playing my part, but I was wondering if I had a chance to run away.  Could I walk to a bus station?  What would I do for money?  Could I call my parents?  These were idle daydreams because even thinking of defying Nathan scared me.

When the people of the church prayed over us,  the man praying for me was saying how much God loved me.  God valued me.  He had great things planned for me.  I cried my heart out, wishing it were true.

It was the most hope I  felt in months.

Then it came time for the Master’s Commission students to pray for the church.  Before I could step forward, Nathan called me to the back of the church.  Natalie stood off to the side.  While everyone else was praying, Nathan got down to eye-level with me and said, “God is very unhappy with you.  You are rebellious and keep pushing us away.  You either need to get things right or I’m kicking you out of the program.”

I should have been thrilled. I should have hit the ground running and never looked back.  Instead, it was like a physical blow. I began sobbing.  I had never been a bad kid.  I had never been kicked out of anything.  My parents, teachers and pastors had always taken pride in my eagerness to do the right thing.  Now, I was a failure.  I fully believed God was mad at me because Nathan was mad at me.  If God did not want me, who would?

I did not only beg to stay.  I wept, pleaded and groveled.  Nathan, so graciously, put me on probation.  I could stay if I began to be obedient. Though I had never defied an order to work, pray or study my motives were not pure.  I was disobedient and rebellious of spirit. If I made a marked change, I would be taken off probation and allowed to stay.  I felt a wave of gratitude.

Afterwards, the church members shared dishes they brought just for us.  When they all left the room, Nathan made rude comments about the taste and quality of the food.  I snapped out of my fog of relief and, for the first time, clearly saw Nathan was a bad guy.  This man who just lectured me about God’s love and “pure motives” treated strangers disrespectfully and his students terribly.

I resolved to fake my way through the rest of the year and get as far from MCA as I could.  I was already an outsider in the group, the other students knew I was considered a troublemaker.  Pretending would be easy since I was so alone.

Looking back, I’ve tried to decipher what reason Nathan could have given for kicking me out.  How would he tell my parents the three thousand dollars they had paid for my stay in Master’s Commission was rendered irrelevant by my rebellious heart?  Time and wisdom have reduced a lot of Nathan’s threats to ridiculous bluffs. 

That was why he “taught” young, inexperienced kids.

It is also why he will not talk with us now.

Former MC from Texas attended Master’s Commission of Austin under Nathan Davies.  She loves the Longhorns and Tex-Mex.

To contact Former MC from TX or to drop her a line, you can email her at: FormerMCTX@gmail.com

 

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10 thoughts on “Former MC from TX Speaks Again”

  1. wow! So ppl go here not knowing how spiritually abusive this place is. Instead of learning the love of God they are controlling & power hungry. Do they impose a bunch of rules & nastiness because you are young & they think that’s what young ppl need?

    1. Frogla,
      That’s exactly why! That and that particular sect in Master’s Commission is taught to believe that humanity is not only inherently evil, but wickedly rebellious. To take that even further, things that are normal and acceptable in society (such as secular music, movies and tv shows) are forbidden, and any viewing or listening to of those things (among other activities) show a wicked, sinful heart that’s disobedient to God and rebellious.

      It really twists the idea of God into something warped and scary, where young people feel like they’re getting looked down upon by a big, mean God who thinks they’re terrible.

  2. Absolutely disgusting. Primarily, the type of person it takes to be a pastor (or a politician or a police chief for that matter) is a bully. That is the psychological profile. Power hungry, low self-esteem, seeking respect from a title or a uniform.

    Yet these titles automatically garner respect. People still don’t seem to equate that those people in the uniforms, operating under those titles are still nothing but your garden variety sack of bones, fat, and blood labeled “human” and are prone — more so in those titles — to be controlling cult leaders that abuse authority.

  3. Leaders like this Edwin Ennis thrive when they are allowed to make impressionable young minds quake in fear at the mere thought of them.

    And to think, all the money, prayers, and parental support that went into this MC program, only to have it end up almost as bad but very similar to the full blown cult I was involved with.

    As far as abusive control goes, IMO Edwin Ennis is about as bad as Victor Wierwille was in his day as founding president of The Way International when he bullied himself into the minds of thousands of kids as a supposed man of God to be feared.

    And to think, MC has the support of prominent churchs, parents, and if I’m not mistaken has a part in the current day “Word of Faith” movement.

    Sorry parents, it looks like YOUR KIDS might need years to heal if they ever are able to get the terror that Edwin Ennis has inspired so far.

    I can’t wait to hear about all the other wonderful instructors that worked from this guys playbook!!!

    And to think, he was canned while “Our Savior Church” chose not to inform all the families about the damage he caused their kids, let alone actually help these kids.

    This group doesn’t sound Christian to me, Christ’s meek and gentle spirit….NOT.

  4. I never knew this happened. I remeber words being said about the food not being good but this happened a lot. The thing that really upsets me about that is that we would work so hard and when it came time to eat we were treated like little kids. Many times the freezer would come unplugged somehow and when the food ruined we would be called to fast. It also upsets me that we were told food was included in our tuition but many times some of us went hungry becuase we had no money to eat on and the food for us was out. All the while PE was out eating. After many years of thinking that masters was good I am finally starting to see how bad it really was. I have called PE many times over the years and he has refused to talk to me. Even though I left after graduation on great terms. I finally agree whole heartidly that masters commission is a cult that twists christianity. At least edwins masters commission. He tears down other to feel strong and hurts people for his pleasure. I am sorry to all that went and to those that will sit under him in the future with whatever cult he leads next.
    Thank you so much for starting this blog to unite us all. Together we have the strength to heal and overcome the damage done.

    1. Cant say,
      I worked for Edwin in his home for years, and often would go grocery shopping for his wife on a Master’s Commission or church credit card. They’d go to eat at nice restaurants ($15-20 plate) on the MC credit card.

      In contrast, in 2000-03 while I lived and worked in Austin for him, we had food cooked for us by the church cook, but the food was never great. Sometimes it wasn’t all that edible and it was rarely healthy.
      When I moved to Louisiana, 2003-2005, we had inedible, grease-filled food. Some of the meat came by donation from Albertson’s. It was a day or more old, and the conditions with which we acquired it were probably not healthy, and it was definitely known that we had to grovel to local businesses like that to receive groceries to feed ourselves.

      In response to whether all Master’s Commissions are a cult or not, this is a complicated issue. I’ve attended Master’s Commission USA (then it was called Master’s Commission of Phoenix) and worked with the Master’s Commission International Network leaders, Eric and Raquel Hunsberger. The difficult part is that they’re nice people, but when I’ve addressed issues I had in Austin and Louisiana with Edwin, Eric let Lloyd Zeigler deal with the matters. Lloyd left them unattended to for years, and it wasn’t until I started this blog that he wanted to take action.

      Since then, he has taken some action. He kicked out Edwin’s group, which is now Elevate 3D at Our Savior’s Church in Lafayette, LA and their church plants, of the Master’s Commission International Network. They’re banned from using the name Master’s Commission based on my letter and accusations of abuse, and about 20 other letters that are similar.

      When I pushed Lloyd to make over all rules that all directors had to pay their staff and support staff at least minimum wage, and provide them health benefits and vacation or sick pay, comparable to the secular world job market, he said his group did that and that he spoke to all directors in a conference call about doing the same.

      Upon further investigation, this wasn’t done. I spoke with him about the reasons I knew this wasn’t done and asked him more questions. He called support staff “interns” and said it’s okay not to pay them. I asked if it’s okay not to pay them after they “intern” for six years or something like that. He said yes.

      After that, I realized this entire group, Master’s Commission International Network is led by a leader, Lloyd Zeigler, who’s best interest is not the students and staff members who finance the ministry from their tuition, fundraising efforts and the like. I can not stress how unethical and illegal this is. The Department of Labor recently changed labor laws regarding internships. I hope one day Master’s Commission gets legal retribution for the slavery of youth they’re running in the name of God.

      I can’t stand by an organization who will not listen to our pleas to change things to better the quality of life for their staff.

    2. Can’t Say,
      I remember all the things you mentioned. I remember how Edwin would go play Frisbee golf all the time and even got mad when someone mentioned how often he did it in comparison to how much we (interns) worked.
      To this day I have a weirdness with food because of Master’s. I have to remind myself the “good food” will still be here tomorrow. I hoard food in my bedroom despite being capable of getting more. I’ve often wondered if anyone else found the food situation weird–especially the fasting. I’m so glad you mentioned it. Once again, your comments have made me feel less alone. Thank you!

      1. You know, GlassTexan, I have similar weirdness with food. My mom has often laughed at me, once saying, “Are you afraid you won’t have anything to eat tomorrow?” and the sad thing is, I think the answer is yes. When we were given food, it was inedible and when we fasted, we still worked hard and exercised hard. I remember someone throwing up once from working out, and this guy wasn’t someone I’d ever would’ve thought would have thrown up from working out. The culmination of not sleeping much, working hard and poor nutrition has caused more than one health problem in students. A friend of mine from another Texas Master’s Commission was so sleep deprived he got some kind of toxicity within his body and nearly died. True story. He still has health issues, because he had no health care and no health coverage in Master’s so he let the condition go for too long.

  5. The control and manpleasing that distorts a once pure, free and passion for God is something that I have seen in another context. I was a part of Morningstar International / Victory Campus Ministries / Every Nation Campus Ministries and I saw a lot of the same stuff… Christian elitism, strained relationships with natural families, performance oriented prayer and worship, and people making unhealthy or unwise choices based on pressure from leaders. The thing that really gets me is that the decision to become involved in that type of ministry is often born out of a genuine desire to give our best and highest to God, and that these ministries really do bring together wonderful people… but the desire to please leaders and the striving in the flesh to be “more committed” ends up often having a detrimental effect on those people’s long term relationship with God. I think that if leaders in home churches counsel college students toward moderation and taking their Christian walk at a “marathon pace” rather than as a sprint, it would be healthier. Then again, in my own personal life, God used those times in a messed up church to teach me a lot and connect me with many important people in my life. So… its hard to have regrets. I wish all you MC folks the best of luck and hopefully you can take some comfort in the fact that youre not the only ones. There are a lot of spiritually wounded people out there trying to recapture their pure, simple love for God who can relate.

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